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FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Uruguay beats Ghana Group H Jordan Ayew Giorgian de Arrascaeta

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AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Luis Suarez couldn’t watch as his Uruguay team slid toward a painful World Cup exit. He put his hands in front of his eyes, then pulled his shirt over his head. When his face emerged again, there were tears.

The Uruguay captain sat in the dugout after being substituted as his team beat Ghana 2-0 on Friday but was still eliminated from the tournament by a stoppage-time goal in another game.

A late goal by Hwang Hee-chan secured South Korea a last-gasp 2-1 win over Portugal and a place in the last 16 from Group H at Uruguay’s expense because it scored more goals. After the most dramatic end to the group, Portugal advanced as group winner and South Korea clinched second.

Ghana, which came into the last set of games in second place, was also eliminated.

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“It is sadness and disappointment that we feel,” said Suarez, who was playing in his last World Cup. “I was lucky enough to play my fourth World Cup, and I was thinking about my 4-year-old son, who is leaving with the image of sadness. It’s difficult, but it’s up to me to face the situation.”

When Suarez left in the 66th minute of the game, Uruguay was in a position to advance to the knockout stage for a fourth straight World Cup. He had played key roles in both Uruguay goals by Giorgian De Arrascaeta, which came after Ghana captain Andre Ayew missed a 21st-minute penalty.

A shot by Suarez led to De Arrascaeta’s opener in the 26th minute. Suarez then set up the second with a clever pass that De Arrascaeta volleyed in six minutes later.

By the time the final whistle blew, Uruguay’s 2-0 lead still stood but the 35-year-old Suarez’s World Cup career was over.

The realization that it might be heading that way came for Suarez when a screen at the stadium flashed up news of South Korea’s late goal against Portugal. Before that, Suarez was smiling in the dugout.

Uruguay desperately chased another goal through eight minutes of stoppage time. One goal would have been enough to advance on goal difference.

Substitute Maximiliano Gomez hit a shot that Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi saved by diving to his right in the final minutes. Sebastian Coates missed a shot just wide. Uruguay also had two claims for a late penalty turned down. Several Uruguayan players angrily confronted the referee after the match as they were headed off the field.

“They broke their backs. They gave their best,” Uruguay coach Diego Alonso said.

At the end, the Ghana fans at Al Janoub Stadium chanted “Korea, Korea, Korea” and celebrated Uruguay’s exit, testament to the bitter resentment they still feel towards Suarez and the rest of the national team for one of the most contentious games in World Cup history.

Suarez was responsible for Ghana’s World Cup elimination in the quarterfinals 12 years ago. Then, his deliberate handball on the goal line denied Ghana a certain goal at the very end of extra time.

Suarez was sent off but celebrated wildly on the sidelines when Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty. Uruguay went on to win in a shootout.

That 2010 game loomed over this rematch, stoked by Suarez’s refusal to apologize for his handball when asked to do so on the eve of the game in Qatar by a Ghanaian journalist, who said the player was now known as “el diablo” — a devil — in Ghana.

Ghana coach Otto Addo said the game wasn’t about revenge for 2010.

“What hurts the most is we are out,” Addo said. “It doesn’t matter who it was.”

But that sentiment was not shared by the majority of Ghanaians in the crowd, who booed Suarez every chance they got. One held up a sign before kickoff that read: “Revenge 4 2010.”

The same sign was held up again at the end as Suarez trudged off the field crying.

GHANA’S PAIN

Ghana’s exit was also painful, and memories of the 2010 agony were revived with Ayew’s missed penalty. Ayew was the only member of Ghana’s current squad on that team, although he missed that quarterfinal match because of a suspension.

He went low to the bottom right corner with his penalty and Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet guessed right to push it away with his left hand.

“This is football,” Addo said. “Sometimes football is really, really beautiful. Sometimes it’s ugly. Today it was ugly for us.”

ADDO STEPS DOWN

Addo said he was stepping down as Ghana coach in keeping with a promise he’d already made that he would only lead the team until the end of the World Cup.

BOTH GOING HOME

Uruguay missed out on a place in the last 16 for the first time since 2006, when it didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Ghana, a four-time African champion, has exited in the group stage at the last two World Cups it has played.

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Bedard earns attention, rave reviews at CHL – NHL.com

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LANGLEY, British Columbia — Connor Bedard was the center of attention during the 2023 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Langley Events Centre on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old forward with Regina of the Western Hockey League, and projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft, had a bit of a home-ice advantage. He grew up about 30 minutes away in North Vancouver.

“I’ll have a good amount of people there,” Bedard said before the game. “I think some relatives. Obviously, my sister, my parents and some buddies for sure. I should have a decent crowd.”

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Tom Bedard, Connor’s father, was relishing the rare chance to see his son in person; Regina is a 20-hour drive.

“My wife (Melanie) actually is in Regina with Connor, so she gets to go to a few more games,” Tom said. “I get out five or six times a year but it’s difficult. It’s nice to have things close to home.”

It was a good show for family and friends. Bedard had a game-high six shots on goal for Team Red in a 4-2 loss to Team White.

The only people watching Bedard as closely as his family was the opposition.

“Keeping him off the scoreboard, that was kind of a team goal,” Team White goalie Scott Ratzlaff said. “Just making sure he’s always covered, making sure we’ve got eyes on him. It was good.”

There was a fair amount of physical play aimed at Bedard, including Team White defenseman Lukas Dragicevic taking a cross-checking penalty against him 20 seconds into the first period. Bedard also had a game-long, trash-talking conversation with Team White defenseman Oliver Bonk.

The frustration led to Bedard taking a penalty for cross-checking Bonk at 16:30 of the third. Bonk said the back-and-forth wasn’t anything malicious, more about the respect for Bedard’s ability to take over a game.

“He’s the best [2005-born player] in the world right now,” Bonk said. “It was good to get him off the ice for two minutes for our guys.”

Bedard (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) is used to physical play and won’t shy away from it. He was a presence in front of Team White’s goal on most of his shifts and had no problem battling in all areas of the ice.

“It’s hockey,” Bedard said. “It’s competitive and you’re allowed to hit so you’ve always got to expect that. It’s a contact sport and you’re going to get hit and you’re going to give hits. That’s part of it and it was good.”

Despite the physical play, Bedard still displayed his game-breaking ability. With Team Red on the power play in the first period, he wheeled through the high slot and fired a shot on net that Ratzlaff saved. Midway through the second, Ratzlaff had to make a spectacular pad save to stop Bedard at the net on a give-and-go with Zach Benson.

“The goalies played well and obviously it would have been nice to see a few go in, but it didn’t happen,” Bedard said.

Ratzlaff also plays in the WHL, for Seattle. Though it was his first time facing Bedard in a game, he knows exactly what he’s capable of doing.

“He’s just so dynamic, and he’s just good from anywhere,” Ratzlaff said. “You think, ‘Oh, I’ve got to commit because he’s going to shoot,’ and then he makes a pass backdoor right on the guy’s tape. So, I think just being ready for anything because he’s just so good and just patient with the puck so he can really create, turn nothing into something.”

Bedard said his focus now returns to Regina, where he leads the WHL in goals (39), assists (42) and points (81). Since being held off the score sheet in the season opener, he has a point in 32 straight games. He’s No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking of North American players presented by BioSteel and almost a certainty to hear his name called first at the 2023 draft at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 28.

“When you look, you can see his similarities with his quickness, offensive smarts, that go up to the Connor McDavid level, but then just the pure substance and overall makeup of his game is reminiscent of Sidney Crosby,” said Dan Marr, vice president of Central Scouting. “He’s right up there with those players that are going to be all stars and win a lot of hardware moving forward.”

Bedard has said the draft is something he’ll worry about down the road. Now that all the attention from the Top Prospects Game has passed, he’s focused on helping Regina reach the WHL playoffs.

“I want to win in Regina,” he said. “We’ve been playing well of late, [won] four of the last five, so we want to keep that going and I’m excited to get back and get to work.”

Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class

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Still affected by carjacking, Mitch Marner speaks out on mental health – Sportsnet.ca

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Quick Reaction: Raptors 113, Kings 95 – Raptors Republic

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S. Barnes38 MIN, 7 PTS, 6 REB, 10 AST, 2 STL, 3-8 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 22 +/-

Scottie was finding his teammates all night long, one of the stronger defensive performances from Scottie tonight as well, first game without double digit points in quite some time but he impacted the game in other ways.

O. Anunoby31 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 4-9 FG, 3-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 24 +/-

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Solid shooting night for OG who was able to really impact this game defensively by being a menace in the paint, did some great stuff against Sabonis.

P. Siakam35 MIN, 26 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 11-24 FG, 2-8 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 15 +/-

Great night for. Pascal, defense was very impactful as he mucked up a lot of Sacramento’s acts through Sabonis, he was hitting his teammates all night, cleaned up on the glass, and kept the pressure up late with his scoring.

G. Trent Jr.36 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 7-15 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 13 +/-

Gary’s shot wasn’t all the way there tonight but he still managed to get a couple down, had some good looks in transition.

F. VanVleet38 MIN, 17 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 4 STL, 7-16 FG, 2-9 3FG, 1-1 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 20 +/-

Fred didn’t shoot the ball well tonight but he still put up 17, had a game high 4 steals tonight which is a testament to his impact on that end tonight.

P. Achiuwa28 MIN, 19 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 9-12 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 3 +/-

Great night on both ends for Precious, really impactful defensively, had some great finishes as a roll man and see created.

C. Boucher22 MIN, 16 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 7-11 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 3 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Great spark off the bench and made his presence felt at the rim on both ends of the floor, great energy tonight.

J. Hernangomez12 MIN, 1 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Didn’t really standout tonight.

Nick Nurse

Great game plan for Sacramento, never let Sabonis get comfortable, great minutes for Precious and Boucher.

Things We Saw

  1. One of, if not the strongest defensive performances from Toronto this season holding this high powered offense to 50 at halftime and 95 for the full game, really encouraging.

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